Fairy dust on the diploma
When I was in college, a friend of mine gave me a math book that I found hard to get through. When I complained about it, he told me “You’re going to finish a PhD someday. When you do, do you think there’s going to be fairy dust on the diploma that’s going to enable you to do anything you can’t do now?”
That conversation stuck with me. I realized that I just needed to work hard rather than wait for my intelligence to mysteriously rise at graduation.
PS:From the blog of John D. Cook